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International Inspiration

August 16, 2019

Words like delicate, elegant and orderly come to mind when describing the designs of Ole Wanscher (1903–1985). Wanscher was a student of Kaare Klint, and later followed in his footsteps as Professor at the Furniture School at the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen. Like Klint, he didn’t understand the rejection of the past represented by the Bauhaus-school. But while Klint’s primary motive in studying things from the past was to qualify his own work, Wanscher sought to find an overview of furniture design and read it as an expression of earlier cultures’ conception of form. Wanscher did not weigh the different stylistic periods functional, structural and artistic results against one another or evaluate them from a subjective standard of value. He referred and described.

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He found inspiration in classical furniture, and he possessed a great interest in and knowledge about, not only English 18th century furniture, but also early Egyptian furniture. This influence is evident in the Egyptian Stool from 1957, a slender and refined piece of furniture where luxurious materials and excellent craftsmanship is combined. Although Ole Wanscher took great interest in industrially made furniture and designed several pieces with this in mind, his finest pieces of design were made in collaboration with master cabinetmaker A. J. Iversen. Among these is the Egyptian Stool, which is inspired by furniture from the temples in Thebes, Egypt. The chairs from the Egyptian empire expressed power and grace and Wanscher succeeded in recreating this very expression in the beautiful, light design of the chair. When the chair folds, the seat slides down and folds. The talented cabinet maker made this possible, elegantly and refined. A signature of the collaboration between Iversen and Wanscher.

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